Skip to main content
Once-Over Mechanical Harvesting of Cucumbers
Society
Sub Category
Era
Date Created
Address1
Farrall Agricultural Engineering Hall
Address2
524 S. Shaw Lane
City
East Lansing
State
Country
Zip
Creator

The concept of once-over mechanical, as opposed to multiple-pick hand or experimental multiple-pick machine harvesting, represented a major break-through in the practice of producing vine fruit such as pickling cucumbers.  In the 1950s the cost of hand harvesting was as high as 50% of the production cost.  Once-over mechanical harvesting, coupled with increasing plant population, reduced this cost to 25% thereby making production economically viable. At the heart of the once-over harvester is a mechanical pinch-roll vine-fruit separation system developed by Michigan State University researchers Bill Stout, Max DeLong and Stan Ries in 1961 with support from cucumber growers and processors.  A harvester was successfully field tested in 1963.  Food Machinery Chemical (FMC) Corporation, Hoopeston, IL fabricated 1 prototype harvester in 1964 and 5 in 1965.  FMC and other companies manufactured an estimated 230 harvesters in the 1960s and 300 through 2009. Today, once-over mechanical harvesting has become universally adopted method of harvesting vine fruit and is used around the world.

Image Caption
The concept represented a major break-through in the practice of producing vine fruit such as pickling cucumbers.
Stay informed - subscribe to our newsletter.
The subscriber's email address.